Major Spammer Shut Down


The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) was able to persuade a federal court in Chicago to freeze the assets and order the shut down of HerbalKing, reputed to be one of the largest spam e-mailers, for violating the Can-Spam Act of 2003, the New York Times reports this week.

The Times story reported that SpamHaus, a nonprofit antispam research group, estimated that HerbalKing was responsible for sending out one-third of all spam at one point, which included everything from replica watches to (naturally) herbal pills.

The FTC said that HerbalKing was able to send out billions of spam e-mails through the use of botnets. One botnet was made up of 35,000 computers and was able to send 10 billion e-mail messages a day.

The story quotes a senior technology consultant at Sophos, a spam-fighting security firm as saying, â''It wouldnâ''t be a surprise if people donâ''t notice any difference in their in-box tomorrow morning.â''

Unfortunately, from the e-mail that keeps arriving in my junk file, he's correct.


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Robert Charette
Spotsylvania, Va.
Willie D. Jones
New York City